3 Stars the Knicks should target in a trade if they want to keep Julius Randle

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics v Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics v Julius Randle, New York Knicks / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
2 of 4

No. 3: Knicks should trade for Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown is about to start the largest contract in NBA history and will be making eye-popping numbers over the next five years. As a two-way forward who has proven his value in the playoffs he is worth a large contract, but as the Boston Celtics continue to pay their core they may reach a point where they have to trade one member of the core to stay financially viable and avoid the second tax apron.

Brown could be that casualty, and he would certainly fetch a strong return given his talent and positional value. He would slot in nicely as a large shooting guard between Anunoby and Brunson, giving the Knicks the kind of size defensively that makes Tom Thibodeau dance in his living room. Brown is also even better suited for defending at the point of attack than Anunoby, allowing Brunson to truly slide to the least-threatening opposing player.

On offense, Brown would operate as the co-No. 2 option with Randle, giving each the right kind of usage rate to utilize their scoring punch without giving them too many shots. Jaylen Brown can spot up, handle the ball and is an underrated cutter, especially on a spaced court. Opponents would be put in a serious bind trying to match up with Brunson, Brown and Randle.

The biggest hurdle to trading for Brown is the cost; the Knicks would have a fair number of draft picks to include, but they would likely have to strip their bench bare finding enough matching salary to send to Boston. Do the Celtics want that many players and contracts on the books? If the Knicks were to figure out such a path, it would require at least one other team and a lot of work.